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Professor Zhiwen Luo

Professor Zhiwen Luo

Chair in Architectural and Urban Science

+44(0)29 2087 0923
Room T.14, Bute Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB
Available for postgraduate supervision


I have been trained in both Architectural Engineering (BSc- Harbin Institute of Technology, China) and Urban Climate (PhD- University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China). Prior to joining Cardiff, I was a Lecturer and Associate Professor at the School of Built Environment, University of Reading, UK.

My research focuses on designing smart, resilient, and healthy built environments at both building and urban scales with minimal energy expenditure, in response to climate change and public health emergencies such as COVID-19. I have received funding for my research from organizations including NERC, EPSRC, Innovate UK, the Met Office, ADEPT, Climate Kic, and the Global Innovation Fund. On the urban scale, I have developed a multi-scale modeling platform that considers people, buildings, and cities to enhance heatwave resilience and mitigation. I have also conducted extensive research on improving urban ventilation in mega cities like Hong Kong and London to mitigate heat and air pollution exposure. At the building scale, I am interested in finding the optimal balance between health benefits and energy costs through ventilation design. My research has contributed to the understanding of the role of ventilation patterns in the spread of influenza in a hospital ward in Hong Kong and has informed the development of cost-effective natural ventilation solutions for resource-poor regions, as reflected in the WHO guideline on "Natural ventilation for infection control in health-care settings."

Some of my recent research projects include: COSMA project on heatwave and overheating risk in South Asia (PI, NERC, NE/S005889/1); Smart indoor environment design by artificial intelligence (PI, Knowledge Transfer Partnership); SARs-CoV-2 virus transmission in indoor environment (PI, GCRF); Climate resilient built environment alliance (PI, EPSRC); Building interventions for reducing air pollution exposure in China (PI, EPSRC, EP/P511018/1); Air Pollution Solutions for Vulnerable Groups (CleanAir4V) (Co-I, NERC, NE/V002414/1); NGC- Next generation cities (Co-I, Met Office); Indoor air pollution emission and modelling (Co-I, Met Office); Thames Valley Smart City Living Lab (Co-I, leading WP on smart city for air pollution); Felix Scholarship for air pollution in India; Climate-Kic: Smart, Sustainable District; GII-Global Innovation Fund: Impact of outdoor pollution on indoor environment in schools.

I am the Board member and Award Committee Chair for International Association of Urban Climate (IAUC) and Chair for Science and Technological Committee: Environmental and Climate Impact for International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ). I have published over 50 peer-reviewed journal papers covering various research themes, e.g., built environment, environmental science, infectious disease transmission and urban meteorology.


















  • Module leader: MSc Architectural Science Research (Research Methods)
  • Deputy programme director: MSc Sustainable Mega Buildings; MSc Environmental Design of Buildings

Research interest

  1. Urban microclimate and design
  2. Climate resilient building and cities
  3. Smart building and cities
  4. Indoor air quality and infection disease transmission in buildings

Research projects


Heat resilient Reading for vulnerable population (PI, EPSRC IAA)


Urban overheating due to cooling decarbonisation using heat pumps in the UK (PI, EPSRC)


Climate resilient built environment alliance (PI, EPSRC)


Urban overheating: developing a net zero and resilient Reading 2030 (PI, Research England)


NERC-SHEAR Follow-up fund (PI, NERC)


Indoor air quality emission and modeling system (Co-I, Met-office)


Air Pollution Solutions for Vulnerable Groups (CleanAir4V) (Co-I, NERC, NE/V002414/1, WP leader on technology intervention for improving indoor and outdoor air quality)


Artificial intelligence for healthy and productive workplace (PI, Innovate UK-KTP)


Thames Valley Smart City Living Lab (Co-I, £4.5m, WP leader on smart city for air pollution and supervising one PDRA)

2020- 21

Met office CSSP China: Development of an improved urban-environment scheme in global and regional models (Co-I)


SARs-CoV-2 virus transmission in crowded indoor environment (PI, GCRF)

2019- 20

Personal air pollution exposure inequality in Rural China (PI, GCRF)


Climate service for resilience to overheating risk in Colombo, Sri Lanka: a multi-scale mapping approach (COSMA) (PI, NERC, NE/S005889/1)


A tale of two cities: urban design and air pollution (PI, UoR internal)


Urban metabolism modeling for sustainable green infrastructure development in rapidly urbanized medium-sized cities in Brazil (Co-I, GCRF seed fund)


EPSRC-GCRF: Health benefit and economic cost of prioritizing intervention strategies to reduce indoor exposure to outdoor PM2.5 pollutions in Beijing, China (PI-EP/P511018/1)


Climate-Kic Smart, Sustainable Districts: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (Co-I, Climate Kic)


School indoor environmental and ventilation control strategies for children’s health and wellbeing (Co-I, Halton Foundation)


I am interested in supervising the following research topics in relation to Architectural and Urban Science:

  • Infection resilient buildings
  • Climate resilient buildings
  • Smart and healthy building design
  • Urban microclimate modeling and measurement

I welcome potential motivated PhD applicants to contact me to discuss your research proposal and ideas aligning with my research interest. Cardiff University provides a number of PhD studentships for high calibre candidates.

Current PhD students:

  • Mr Vitor Lavor (2021- ): Airborne infection risk in urban environment (1st supervisor, funded by NERC Scenario DTP). Co-supervisor: Prof Sue Grimmond, Dr Omduth Coceal
  • Ms Rahaf Alqutub (2020- ): Indoor air quality in special-needs school (1st supervisor, Saudi Arabian studentship)
  • Ms Xiaowei Lyu(2020- ): Smart building for infection control(1st supervisor) (CSC PhD studentship), Co-supervisor: Prof Li Shao
  • Mr Yiqing Liu (2020- ): Building-urban integrated modeling (1st supervisor) (University PhD studentship), Co-supervisor: Prof Sue Grimmond
  • Ms Hannah Marcham(2020- ): Understanding the learning experience of autistic children in special-needs school (2nd Supervisor, SeNSS studentship), 1st Supervisor: Dr Teresa Tavassoli
  • Mr Xiaoxiong Xie (2018-22): Indoor overheating assessment in cities (1st supervisor), Co-supervisor: Prof Sue Grimmond
  • Mr Vasilis Kazakos (2018-2022): Design interventions to reduce air pollution exposure (1st supervisor), Co-supervisor: Dr Ian Ewart

Current supervision

Lei Chen

Lei Chen

Research student